In search of snow in upper Coire Choille Rais

5th January 2020

Not quite but almost getting to the stage where the day’s mission is not to establish snow stability, but just find some snow – any snow.  It’s a rare resource at the moment and continues to diminish. Coire Choille Rais was as good as any place to launch this quest today. It’s one of my favourite locations on our patch and even on a mild, cruddy weather day like today there’s usually something of interest to see. Usually! Not so today, unfortunately.

(Above) The lochan (or should that be tarn?) at the head of Coire Choille Rais. It’s at exactly 810m. I was lucky to snatch this shot during a momentary clearing of the mist. Yes, some snow! Result! What snow there is is all on the North-facing wall of the coire. Visibility didn’t improve at all during my excursion, actually it got quite a lot worse. Then it rained.


(Above) The wee burn that drains out of Lochan (disputed noun) Coire Choille Rais holds a small snow patch on one of its banks, with one or two remnants down to about 750m visible in the distance. Walk in/out is a bit of a bog-fest at the moment due to the amount of recent rainfall. When it’s properly wintry with full snow cover it’s an easy half day ski tour with some cruisy low angled downhill on the return leg to the forest. Definitely recommended but be absolutely certain of conditions/cover before you embark on it otherwise you’ll be shouldering your skis and hopping about from peat hag to sphagnum moss bog and cursing my suggestion. Timing is everything!

Comments on this post

  • Richard
    5th January 2020 6:25 pm

    Sorry but why should a lochan be called a tarn instead? Not sure what I missed with that one.

    • meagaidhadmin
      5th January 2020 7:00 pm

      Oh dear, I hang my head in shame….

      I blame senile dementia / a dodgy Irish grammar school education and the traditional university Geographer’s training (with its indoctrination of terminology for upland glaciation features…)

      Apologies to all Lochs/ Lochans out there for my faux pas!!

    • meagaidhadmin
      5th January 2020 7:07 pm

      Mr. Dant of Ullapool raised this issue on yesterday’s blog posting, too.

Got something to say? Leave a comment

    Latest Creag Meagaidh Avalanche Report
    RSS Feed
    Keep up to date by subscribing to our RSS feed
Service funded by sportscotland
Forecast data supplied by the Met Office
SAIS Sponsors